When Donald Trump was president, he asked his aide why his generals couldn’t be “totally loyal” like the German generals following Adolf Hitler, according to a new book. 

“Why can’t you be like the German generals?” Trump told John Kelly, his chief of staff, according to an excerpt from “The Divider: Trump in the White House,” by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, published online by The New Yorker.

The authors write how Trump became frustrated by his top military officials, whom he saw as “insufficiently loyal or obedient” to him, according to the New York Times. Kelly tried to explain to Trump that the German generals had tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off, but Trump wouldn’t listen.

“‘No, they were totally loyal to him,’ the president replied,” according to the book. Trump believed the generals of the Third Reich were loyal to Hitler, and this is what he wanted for his military. 

The excerpt then focuses on Gen. Mark A. Milley, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the country’s top military official, under Trump.  

Milley wrote, but never delivered, a resignation letter accusing Trump of “embracing tyranny” after Trump asked him to shoot the Black Lives Matter protesters in the legs after they rallied near the White House on June 1, 2020. Milley refused.


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